New Deal 4 Europe conference debate with Michel Aglietta

In a conference-debate in the CESI premises in Brussels (29 September 2014), the European citizens’ initiative for a European Special Plan for Sustainable Development and Employment New Deal 4 Europe presented the French economist Michel Aglietta - a specialist in international monetary economy, known for his work on the functions of financial markets.

New Deal 4 Europe conference debate with Michel Aglietta

Aglietta, who is one of the first to sign the Manifesto for a European Plan for sustainable development and employment,written when New Deal 4 Europe was still in the preparatory phase of the formal recognition of their citizens’ initiative by the European Commission, presented his 2014 published book UN NEW DEAL pour L’€UROPE !

The book poses a burning question: is the European construction still a common goal shared by all the EU states and legitimised by their citizens?

Michel Aglietta and Thomas Brand propose a three-pronged reply. First, they examine the present crisis and offer a diagnosis that is both precise (showing that the euro remains a foreign currency, for cultural and institutional reasons) and original (arguing that public debt is not the cause of the European crisis).

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Secondly, the authors denounce a series of errors, committed since 2010, from austerity measures that pit citizens against one another to timorous efforts to strengthen bank balance sheets.

Finally, they propose solutions closely linking reforms in European governance with a solid project for economic growth.

A firm conviction underlies this book: the euro’s sovereignty may depend on European federalism but without a new social and economic contract Europe’s citizens will remain suspicious of all forms of federalism.

Redefining the European Central  Bank’s mandate and setting up a banking union are both  necessary but insufficient measures. Europe must share its industrial policies and set up common regional projects. Only then will a real European Union come into existence.

The well attended conference was a first in a series of events of associated and member organisations that are going to take place in the CESI premises.